The Rapidian

Exceptional teen wins Youth of the Year honor for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids

Ana Sosa named 2016 Youth of the Year representative from Grand Rapids; now vie for state title and scholarship.
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If you were unable to attend the event but would like to learn more about Youth of the Year, please contact Elyse Mathos at 616-233-9370 x104 or [email protected].

Selected among several local outstanding youth, Ana Sosa has been named 2016 Grand Rapids Youth of the Year and will receive a $2,000 scholarship provided by Lake Michigan Credit Union. She will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Michigan Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, 15-year old Ana is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by BGCA for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

“Today was a great day for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth,” said Executive Director Rick Huisman. “Not only did we have more than 300 special guests in attendance for our Youth of the Year Celebration Luncheon, we are also extremely proud to recognize Ana Sosa as our Youth of the Year 2016.”

Ana is a sophomore at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth since 2011 and is a member at the Steil Club. She is a member of the National Honor Society and actively volunteers with many organizations in the area. Ana is a member of the volleyball and basketball teams at her school and is a member of a dance group. She is also a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Performing Arts program. Ana’s goal is to attend Aquinas College following high school. Her dream is to start a non-profit and help people around the world.

“For me, what is missing in my heart, is a family of friends and other people who want to join me to help those in need around the world without any fear or regrets,” said Ana. “Mother Earth is a place where we live, a place where we can learn from, not a place that we can control or destroy. I want people to see and feel what we could do and accomplish when we come together.”

If Ana wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Midwest Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2016, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids local Youth of the Year event was sponsored by Barfly Events, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Meijer, Steelcase Inc., C.H. Robinson, Eastern Floral, Huntington Bank, PNC Bank, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Ron & Janet Knaus, Bluewater Technologies, and Redi Rental.

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